Work Experience

Hi! My name is Rene Corbeil. I am an instructor in the Online M.Ed. in Educational Technology at the University of Texas at Brownsville. My experience in education spans over a 30-year teaching career in the public schools and in higher education. With over 16 years experience as a middle school teacher of Biology and Computer Literacy, TIF Grant writer and technology coordinator, and teacher trainer, my career in the public schools culminated when my school was awarded a $276,000 TIF grant that I wrote and I received the Brownsville Independent School District’s Secondary Teacher of the Year award. At the pinnacle of my teaching career, I set my sight on new challenges in higher education. Being a graduate research assistant for Dr. Badrul Khan, a pioneer in Web-based distance education, allowed me to be instrumental in the design of the first online course at UTB/TSC, and assist with the editing of his book Web-Based Instruction. This was a turning point in my life.

Consequently, in my 15+ years of service to the university, I have had the fortuitous opportunity to contribute to the development of courses in many disciplines, such as Educational Technology, Criminal Justice and Allied Health. I have also gotten to know the learners’ professional and academic needs first hand. I have used this knowledge to design courses that offer our graduate students what they need to be professionally competitive. Because technology is constantly changing, the courses I design and teach address current needs in the profession and reflect my commitment to life-long learning.

On August 22, 2003, I earned a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Instructional Technology from the University of Houston. For my dissertation research, I conducted a study which identified the psychological, environmental and technological factors that limited people’s willingness or ability to learn online. It is my desire that knowledge gained from this study will enable this institution to identify its at-risk online learners and to develop intervention strategies to improve retention and increase enrollment in our distance education programs. In May of 2008, I was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.

I currently teach fully online graduate and undergraduate courses in Educational Technology. In these courses we explore a variety of learning platforms and Web 2.0 technologies to determine their instructional potential. Click on the image to the right to view my Second Life avatar.

Awards and Recognition

  • 2012 University of Texas System's Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award. This award recognizes faculty members at the nine University of Texas System academic institutions who have demonstrated extraordinary classroom performance and innovation in undergraduate instruction.
  • Selected Papers from the 22nd International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Awarded to the most outstanding papers submitted to the conference, as judged by a faculty committee for Hello? Anyone There? Reducing Online Learner Isolation Through Live Chat, April, 2011.
  • Best Technology Paper. Paper titled Using social networking to teach while on the go. Yes! There is an app for that" submitted to the International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) 50th Annual Conference was recognized as the Best Technology Paper of 2010.

  • EDUCAUSE Quarterly Contribution of the Year Award. Awarded to Joseph Rene Corbeil and Maria Elena Valdes-Corbeil for Are You Ready for Mobile Learning? (Volume 30, Number 2, 2007).
  • Best Pedagogy Paper. Paper titled Globalizing professional development: The evaluation of a collaborative computer­mediated professional development program” submitted to the International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) 47th Annual Conference was recognized as the Best Pedagogy Paper of 2007.

  • Selected Papers from the 18th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Awarded to the most outstanding papers submitted to the conference, as judged by a faculty committee for Overcoming Teacher Anxiety Toward Computers Through the Use of Low Threshold Applications, April, 2007.

  • Selected Papers from the 17th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Awarded to the most outstanding papers submitted to the conference, as judged by a faculty committee for Developing and Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Collaborative Computer-Mediated Professional Development Program, April, 2006.

  • Selected Papers from the 16th International Conference on College Teaching and Learning. Awarded to the most outstanding papers submitted to the conference, as judged by a faculty committee for Electronic Portfolios: High-State Assessments in Graduate Level Distance Education Programs, April, 2005.

  • 1998 Texas State Chess Champion. Led the Oliveira Middle School Chess Team to an undefeated season, finishing 1st at the Texas Scholastic Chess Championships in Houston, TX, and 7th in the nation. March 14-15, 1998.

  • $276,500.00 TIF Grant Awardee. Oliveira Middle School was awarded $276,500.00 from a grant I wrote for the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) - Internet Access For Secondary Schools. February 1997.

  • 1997 Secondary Teacher of the Year. Brownsville Independent School District - May 14, 1997.

  • 1995 Texas Fellow: Teachers & Technology Institute. Received a “Best in Class” award from the Conference Board with the Texas Governor’s concurrence and was invited to attend a two week Summer Technology Institute at the AT&T Bell Laboratories in Somerset, New Jersey, where I had an opportunity to work with Nobel Prize winning scientists, writers, and inventors. May 9, 1995.

My Hobbies

Pastimes include playing bass guitar and piano, reading anything related to science, technology and science fiction, watching science fiction movies, drawing, creative writing, and playing with technical gadgets.

I am a total computer geek! I love working with and on computers. I enjoy discovering new things on the Internet and experimenting with them to see how they can be used in education or to increase my productivity.

I am a huge Star Trek fan (trekker) and an avid collector of Star Trek memorabilia. I enjoy all the TV series and movies. I have liked Star Trek since I was a kid because of the way it addressed numerous social and political issues throughout its history and offers a vision of the future in which mankind has eliminated war, hate, and poverty. The ideal of humans becoming explorers in a quest for knowledge appeals to me.

One goal in life which I have not achieved is to attend a Star Trek convention. I am determined to do that one day soon. I recently attended the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas. That was really cool! Here is a picture of me on the bridge of the Enterprise with the crew from the latest Trek series. Of course I wasn't really there - this picture has been digitally enhanced. Click on the picture to enlarge it.